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Arthritis Walk honors Grand Haven child | Community Spirit

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Arthritis Walk honors Grand Haven child
Arthritis Walk honors Grand Haven child


Grand Rapids, Mich. (Arthritis Foundation) – Honoring 14-year-old Riley Innes of Grand Haven, the Arthritis Foundation will host Arthritis Walk on May 4, 2013, at the John Ball Park Zoo in Grand Rapids.

This annual event promotes the health benefits of physical activity while raising awareness and support for programs, services, and research that help people with arthritis.

Arthritis Walk is a fun and non-competitive three-mile walking event. Walkers will enjoy refreshments, music, messages, and other family-friendly activities all on the beautiful grounds of the John Ball Park Zoo. Proceeds support the Arthritis Foundation’s work to prevent, control, and find a cure for arthritis.

Individuals or teams can sign up by contacting the Arthritis Foundation, Michigan, at (616) 949-9938 or online at www.Arthritis.org/Michigan.

Rylie Innes has Juvenile Polyarticular Arthritis. She was 10-years-old when diagnosed. It’s not common. But it’s not uncommon either. 300,000 kids throughout the United States have arthritis – more than Juvenile Diabetes and Cystic Fibrosis combined – not to mention the 50 million American adults who also have arthritis. It’s in her hips, knees, fingers, shoulders, elbows, toes, and ankles.

Arthritis attacks the body’s joints causing pain and deterioration of bones, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. It is the leading cause of disability in the U.S., limiting activity more than cancer, diabetes, or heart disease. The cause is unknown and there is no cure.

For Rylie, and most other people with the disease, arthritis means pain – and lots of it. It also means difficulty doing simple things, like walking or brushing your teeth. Severe cases can lead to immobilization.

So much is unknown about arthritis that treatment can be difficult and often starts with a hit-or-miss approach at finding an effective combination of medications and therapy. Current strategies focus on reducing pain and slowing progression of the disease.

Like many people with arthritis, Rylie had a tough time finding an effective treatment. Her regimen has included oral and injectable drugs that caused severe adverse reactions and intense pain. Today, she gets bi-weekly injections of a new biologic drug that is showing much promise.

Rylie can’t run with her friends like she used to…or would like to. But she won’t let arthritis get her down. As this year’s Arthritis Walk honoree, Rylie wants to help others with arthritis by letting them know that they aren’t alone and help is available.